Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for the Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV
January 11, 2008
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Decision
Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV as submitted by the Trustees of the State University of New York?
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.
This question will come before the EMSC Committee for action and then come before the full Board for final action in January 2008.
The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities. The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations.
We have received a proposed charter from the Trustees of the State University of New York. This will be presented to you at your January 2008 meeting. The proposed charter is for the following:
- Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV
The Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV (HSACSIV or “The School”) would be located in New York City Community School District 3 or 5, in Central Harlem. The proposed charter school would initially serve 155 students in grades kindergarten through one and would expand to serve 575 students in grades K-5 at full capacity in the fifth year of the initial charter. The School's mission is “to provide New York City elementary students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, with the knowledge, skills, character, and disposition to meet and exceed New York State standards and give them the resources to lead and succeed in the school, college and life.” The School intends to implement New York State curriculum using the Success for All (SFA) literacy and mathematics curricula. Success Charter Network, Inc. (SCN) will serve as the School’s management organization. SCN is currently seeking proper consent by the commissioner to act as a management company for charter schools.
VOTED: That the Board of Regents return the proposed charter of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV to the Trustees of the State University of New York for reconsideration, and with the following comments and recommendations: That the proposed charter school’s curriculum be aligned with New York State Learning Standards; the School demonstrate it is has gathered sufficient evidence of parent support to demonstrate it will operate at full enrollment upon opening; the School gather New York State performance data to demonstrate it is a proven educational model for replication; the School clarify the roles of the Board of Trustees and its educational management organization; the proposed management company is authorized to manage charter schools in New York State; and the School submit evidence to demonstrate it will be fiscally sound. It is recommended that these issues be addressed prior to resubmitting this School’s proposed charter for further consideration.
Reason for Recommendation
(1) The proposed charter school's curriculum is not aligned with New York State learning standards; (2) the School has not demonstrated that it has gathered sufficient evidence of parent support to operate at full enrollment; (3) the School to be replicated lacks New York State performance data to demonstrate it is a proven educational model; (4) the School has failed to clarify the roles of the Board of Trustees and its educational management organization; (5) the proposed management company is not authorized to manage charter schools in New York State and (6) the failure of the school to provide responses to clarification items prevents the Department from finding that the School will be fiscally sound.
Timetable for Implementation
The Regents action for the Harlem Success Academy IV Charter School is effective immediately.
New York State Education Department
Summary of Proposed Charter
Name of Proposed Charter School: Harlem Success Academy Charter School IV (HSACSIV or “the School”)
Applicant(s): Eva Moskowitz
Anticipated Opening Date: August 13, 2008
District of Location: New York City Community School District (CSD) 3 or 5, Central Harlem
Charter Entity: Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY)
Institutional Partner(s): N/A
Management Partner(s): Success Charter Network, Inc.
Grades Served: 2008-09: K-1
Projected Enrollment: 2008-09: 155
Proposed Charter Highlights
Eva Moskowitz, the lead applicant, is a native and current resident of Harlem and a mother of three public school children. Ms. Moskowitz is a former New York City Council Member and Chair of the Council’s Education Committee. After completing her Ph.D. in American History at John’s Hopkins University, she was a history professor and taught civics at Prep for Prep, a program for gifted minority students. She has served as the Executive Director of the Harlem Success Academy Charter School through its start-up and first year of operation and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Success Charter Network.
The Success Charter Network, Inc. (SCN) states that it “was founded to create a replicable elementary school model that would give economically disadvantaged and minority students a phenomenal education and prevent the achievement gap from ever coming in to existence.” SCN is currently seeking proper consent by the commissioner to act as a management company for charter schools. The services provided by the SCN will include the following:
- Start-up: SCN will manage the School’s entire operational start-up process;
- Finance: SCN has developed a start-up budget and proposed operating budget for the first five years of the School’s operation and drafted internal controls, protocols, and procedures. SCN will produce monthly and quarterly variance reports and conduct meetings with the School’s leadership and Board of Trustees to go over these reports and give recommendations to ensure the fiscal health of the School. SCN will ensure that annual fiscal audits are conducted and will ensure the School is prepared for the audit. SCN will set up operating accounts and manage accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable. SCN will secure grants and manage grant compliance. SCN will also manage Title funding.
- Curriculum: SCN will provide and continuously improve a research-based results-driven curriculum. SCN will share best practices and build collaboration within its schools through intervisitation. SCN will also provide student assessments and arrange for scoring.
- Human Resources: SCN will recruit teacher, administrators, and other school personnel to work in the School. SCN will implement a professional development plan.
- Information Technology: SCN will arrange for, purchase and install systems (for example: email, digital database, digital library).
- School Evaluation: SCN will evaluate and provide criticism and guidance to improve teaching and learning.
- External affairs: SCN will manage all external affairs and relations for the School. SCN will negotiate facility space. SCN will conduct a marketing campaign.
- Enrollment: SCN will manage a digital lottery process and the School’s enrollment (including services to the School’s special education population).
The rate SCN will charge for the provision of these services is approximately $1,100 per pupil for the 2007-08 school year. The amount will increase proportionally to increases the New York City Department of Education makes to its per pupil funding.
- The Harlem Success Charter School IV states its mission is, “To provide New York City elementary students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, with the knowledge, skills, character, and disposition to meet and exceed New York State standards and give them the resources to lead and succeed in the school, college and life.”
- The School intends to implement New York State curriculum using the Success for All (SFA) literacy and mathematics curricula.
- The SFA program at the School is to feature: cross-curricular, theme-based instruction; reading and writing across the curriculum; technology integration; a focus on community resources; and character growth and teamwork.
- In addition to the SFA curricula, students will have thirty minutes of daily writing instruction and thirty minutes of daily math problem solving instruction and practice.
- The School will use a longer school year of at least 188 days and a longer daily schedule from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Dismissal will be at 2:00 on Fridays.
- Each week students will have 650 minutes devoted to English Language Arts (ELA), 475 minutes devoted to mathematics, 300 minutes devoted to science, and 150 minutes devoted to social studies.
- Students will receive weekly instruction in chess, art, team sports and dance. They will also have recess on days when they do not have physical education.
- The School will employ learning labs for students who need remedial instruction and are pulled from their regular class to be tutored. High achieving students will also be pulled for enrichment activities.
- In addition to the New York State assessments, the School will administer the nationally-normed SFA assessments in literacy every eight weeks and in math every month. The School will also use the Terra Nova assessments or another nationally normed assessment to measure student achievement in all grades in ELA, math, science and social studies.
- Each student, beginning in second grade, will take the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) or a similar reading assessment.
- HSACSIV shall be governed by a Board of Trustees that shall have final authority for policy and operational decisions of the School pursuant to Education Law §2853(1)(f).
- The number of Trustees shall not be fewer than seven (7) and shall not exceed eleven (11).
- Trustees will be elected to serve terms of three (3) years. All Trustees shall be eligible for re-election.
- The Board of Trustees shall meet at a minimum six times each year.
- Parents will be involved in the governance of the School. A Parent Council will help organize family events, help plan and chaperone meaningful field study experiences and address parent questions and concerns with the school leadership.
- One parent of a currently enrolled student in the School will serve as an ex-officio member of the School’s Board.
- HSACSIV will serve 155 kindergarten and first grade students in the first year and 575 kindergarten through fifth graders in year five.
- The School states, “In order to maintain the carefully created school culture, it intends to fill in vacancies in the School each year up through grade two.”
- The School, beginning in the first grade, will group student by ability level.
- The School intends to serve students with similar demographic profile as CSD 3 or 5; students attending traditional public schools are predominantly African American (~67%) and Hispanic (~20%).
- In Harlem 36.6% of the population lives in poverty. Only 36% of students in grades three through eight met the most basic standards on the 2007 ELA and city Reading assessments.
- The School will employ one lead teacher in each classroom. Each grade level will also have an assistant teacher.
- In addition to administrative staff (one principal and one school leadership resident), the School will employ the following staff: seven lead teachers (22 in Year Five), seven assistant teachers (22 in Year Five), ten specialty teachers (19 in Year Five).
- Specialty teachers include full time science and arts teachers as well as part time special education, chess, and physical education teachers.
- The School plans to lease space from an existing New York City Department of Education (DOE) school facility with rent costs of $1 annually.
- In the case the School is unable to secure a facility from DOE, the Board states it will exhaust all means to locate an appropriate facility in the Harlem community.
- The first year budget anticipates total revenue to equal $2,577,164 and year five to equal $9,271,494.
- The School anticipates a surplus of $296,430 at the end of year one and a surplus of $1,742,802 in Year Five.
- SCN states it will advance new school funds to cover any and all shortfalls that the School may have.
- The School assumes grants from the Walton Foundation, the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, the State Stimulus Grant, the CSP Planning and Implementation grant.
- The SCN indicates it is willing to lend up to $350,000 to the School and anticipates it will bring in approximately $500,000 through an annual fundraising event.
Potential Fiscal Impact of
Success Charter School IV
(New York City CSD 3 or 5- Central Harlem)
2008-09 through 2012-13
Number of Students
* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.
- The School states it has located over 300 individuals in the Harlem area who support the opening of this charter school and are interested in sending their children to the School.
- The Harlem Success Academy Charter School that is currently open received an abundance of applications to fill its 111 open seats that it placed over 350 students on the School’s waiting list.
A public hearing for the Harlem Success Charter School IV was held on October 11, 2007 as part of Community Education Council 5’s monthly meeting. There were three public comments generated at the meeting. Two comments were positive; the third recommended ongoing communication take place between the two schools sharing the NYC DOE facility.